Listener Survey

Posted: August 17, 2016 by Nazim in Uncategorized

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We’d like to know a bit more about you, so we can come to your place while you’re asleep and rifle through your fridge for premium cold cuts. No, seriously, we’d be grateful if you complete the survey linked below to give us some insight into who listens to us. Although we won’t turn down prosciutto, if you have it.

Libsyn listener survey.

This week’s episode covers the recently dismissed case of North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory, v. Harris, v. Whatever Republicans Want to Stand Up for Racist Gerrymandering, which includes how influential the case would have been on the more wide-spread problem of non-racist gerrymandering, and what we can take away from Roberts’ short opinion disavowing any value from the dismissal.  The topical law above starts at (08:29), but Brett and Nazim also talk about how you can get arrested for laughing at Jeff Sessions starting at (0:57).

New Episode!

This week’s podcast covers two gay rights cases that will likely be before the Supreme Court next term.  The first is Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, which asks whether Title VII (Brett calls it Title IX because he is terrible at roman numerals) bans sexual orientation discrimination, and the second is Masterpiece Cakes v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which asks whether a Colorado statute banning private sexual orientation discrimination violates the First Amendment.  Law starts at (08:40).

New Episode!

GUEST EP: Congress and the ACA Repeal

Posted: May 10, 2017 by Nazim in Uncategorized

Brett is joined by special guest Lindsey (@DCInbox) to cover the House of Representatives passage of the American Health Care Act, including the likelihood of passage through the Senate, current communication from both sides of the aisle, and how the preexisting condition components implicate federalism and State’s rights.

New Episode!

This week’s episode covers topical legal vacation spots, including (a) why Miami likely won the battle but lost the war, in Bank of America v. City of Miami (b) why Venezuela benefited off annoying lawyer tricks in Venezuela v. Helmerich and Payne, and (c) why San Francisco, Santa Clara, and other sanctuary cities benefited from poor document drafting in Trump v. Santa Clara.  Law starts at (04:01).

New Episode!

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WHAT HAPPENED – XBOXs were created with (at least one) mechanical fallacy that ended breaking the system without warning.  Plaintiffs (*cough* NERDS) filed a class action lawsuit in California against XBOX because of this defect.  The California Court hearing this issue denied the Plaintiff’s right to proceed with a class action lawsuit on grounds that the class and case was not suitable for class action status.  As is common in California, the plaintiff’s stipulated to a dismissal of their suit, appealed the denial of class certification and won.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT:  The State of California is the Chekov’s gun on this case brief, as the practice of dismissing a class action suit and appealing it subsequent to that dismissal is a procedure that is only done in California, as the Federal Rules require a different procedure in order to appeal this decision.  The issue here is whether or not the Supreme Court is down with that procedure or not.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS:  Allowing this procedure to pass would create two possible scenarios, one being specific to this case, and the other being more general.  First, saying that this procedure is OK would allow an unwritten, contrary rule to be written in the Rules of Federal Procedure.  Considering that the Supreme Court usually does that on their own, good money says that they are not OK with goddamn liberal Californians making their own rules.  More broadly speaking, this case could allow individual jurisdictions to make their own rules all the time, which also is probably not what the Supreme Court wants to do either.

ROOT FOR MICROSOFT IF: you want that extra class action money going toward more HALO sequels.

ROOT FOR BAKER IF:  the Rules of Civil Procedure were made to be broken.

PREDICTION:  Microsoft 9-0

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WHAT HAPPENED:  To help convey this generally procedural issue, let’s treat this like a professional wrestling event.

(Best Jim Ross Impersonation)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!  IN THIS CORNER, PLAINTIFF LAROE!  A MAN WHO WANTS TO DEVELOP HIS PROPERTY AND IS BEING STYMED BY GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS!  WHAT AN UNDERDOG! THIS FANCIES TO BE A REAL SLOBBERKNOCKER!

AND IN THIS CORNER!  TOWN OF CHESTER!  A MUNICIPALITY THAT DOESN’T LIKE LAROE AND HAS PASSED ZONING REGULATIONS TO GET IN HIS WAY!  WHAT AN EVIL CHAMPION THAT LOOKS TO RETAIN ITS DOMINANCE OVER LAND USE!  THE CROWD REALLY HATES THEM!

THE MATCH HAS STARTED AND WE ARE READY TO……WHAT A MINUTE, WHATS THAT SOUND???  THAT’S LAROE ESTATE’S MUSIC!  WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE?!?  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A THREE-WAY BATTLE!

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT:  In legal speak, Laroe Estates wants to intervene in a lawsuit between the landowner and the township, which procedurally means you want to get involved in a case that is ongoing because you have an interest at stake.  Laroe was denied intervention because the Court held that Laroe lacked “standing”, which is the requirement that you are harmed in the underlying litigation and that the litigation will be able to solve that harm.  This is a weird ruling, because standing is usually presumed if you can meet the other requirements of intervention.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS:  Although one could argue that this case could help shape the requirements for intervention going forward, it seems more likely that the Court is just going to remand this decision back to the Lower Court so that they can come up with a clearer way to deny intervention that doesn’t require the Court to address a weird loophole in the rules.  Ultimately, this is not that common of a problem, as most people who meet the elements of intervention inherently have standing, so although this seems like a big deal, my guess is the Court will just be asking the Lower Court to use the elements to deny intervention, if denial is that important.

ROOT FOR TOWN OF CHESTER IF:  WE NEED TO SETTLE THIS CASE IN A STEEL CAGE, BROTHER!!

ROOT FOR LAROE ESTATES IF:  AND HERE COMES THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A ROYAL RUMBLE!!

PREDICTION:  Laroe Estates 7-1

 

 

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WHAT HAPPENED:  Defendant, who is a legal immigrant, was charged with burglaries, which warranted mandatory removal under the Federal Immigration State as a “violent felony”.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT:  The defendant did not contest the underlying charges, but more whether or not the “violent felony” language, which includes any “felony that is likely to result in violence to persons or property”, was unconstitutionally vague.  Under the Due Process clause, criminal statutes can be invalidated if they do not give citizens fair notice of what is being punished, which came up two years ago in a case, Johnson v. U.S..  In Johnson, the Court held that the term “violent felony” was vague as it applied to the Armed Career Criminals Act, so the question here is whether the same applies to the Immigration Act.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS:  Should the Lower Court’s decision invalidating the Act hold, the procedure for removing violent felons would need to be re-written to either (a) articulate what a violent felony is more specifically, or (b) just make all felonies grounds for removal.  Since Congress doesn’t like MORE work on the table and panicking about dangerous immigrants is all the rage these days, my guess is that Supreme Court isn’t in a hurry to be on the front page of FOX NEWS for the next year.

ROOT FOR SESSIONS IF: You’re scared of violent immigrants.

ROOT FOR DIMAYA IF:  you are more interested in fostering conservative panic more that you are afraid of violent immigrants.

PREDICTION:  Sessions 6-3

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WHAT HAPPENED – Plaintiff was injured at work and sued the Defendant employer for damages under a Federal Workman’s Comp statute in the State of Montana.  Seems easy, right?

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT – The Employer argues that since the accident did not occur in Montana, and since the Employer is not based out of Montana, the case should have been filed elsewhere, which in legal speak is saying that the forum for the lawsuit does not have personal jurisdiction over the Employer.  Personal jurisdiction requires that any lawsuit against a party be filed in a State that is inherently “fair” for the defendant.  This commonly considers the defendant’s contacts with the State and the interests of the State in hearing the case.  This may all seem easy, but hold on to you butts because here comes the weird part.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS – A few years ago the Supreme Court heard a case determining whether a car manufacturer could be sued in California for participating in wide-spread Argentinian government-sponsored torture (Actually downplaying this, not exaggerating).  Within that case, Ginsburg and Sotomayor had a judge fight (exchanging doomsday scenarios based on the other’s reasoning), in which the Court made a rule saying that a corporation had to “be at home” to be sued somewhere.  The issue here is whether or not (a) this Corporation is “at home” in the forum, and (b) whether or not a Federal Statute could override this contentious rule, which again was loosely based on the plot of a James Bond movie.

ROOT FOR BNSF RAILWAY IF: Fairness to corporations is high on your priorities list.

ROOT FOR TYRELL IF: You’re still mad about Hobby Lobby and want to screw all corporations.

PREDICTION:  Tyrell 8-1

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WHAT HAPPENED: Defendant is this case is probably the least-lucky person on Earth.  Defendant is charged with a sex crime for being slightly over 18 years old and having sex with someone who is a three year age difference.  This is a crime in the State of California, but it is legal in a strong majority of States.    After being convicted, Defendant moves to Michigan, where Defendant’s conduct would not have been a State crime.  Unfortunately, removal proceedings are brought against him, and even though he would not have been subject to removal in California, the same rules do not apply in Michigan.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPRME COURT:  In an effort to make this generally unfair case more legal, Defendant is arguing that the immigration board’s ruling in favor of removal should be overturned, since Defendant’s crime should not subject him to removal as a “sex abuse” crime.  The State argues that even if this case is unfair, the immigration board’s ruling should stand since agencies are entitled to deference enforcing their own rules.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS:  One of the hot-button talking points of Trump’s new appointment is the possibility that the Court will overrule the Chevron doctrine, which is the above-referenced policy that agencies should be given deference for enforcing their own rules.  Presumably, this is the kind of case where you could make an argument that the unreasonableness of the doctrine is on display, since the different State rules and precedent have created a generally unfair proposition.  Unfortunately for this Defendant, the Conservative push for overruling agency authority is probably not going to come in a case involving immigration and sex crimes.

ROOT FOR ESQUIVEL-QUINTANA IF: you want to overrule Chevron, and don’t care about the underlying facts in what will likely be a landmark decision going forward.

ROOT FOR SESSIONS IF:  you want to overrule Chevron, but you’d rather wait until it’s an EPA decision that prevents a company owned by your right friend Doug from polluting a river.

PREDICTION:  SESSIONS 7-2

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A torrent of Immigration cases, which is to say two of them, made this month’s ballot. Topical, amiright? Also, updated the scores below, so click through if you want to see how you’re doing. But most importantly, please get your May votes in soon, since, as the term winds down, more opinions will be published, and we’re not in charge of that schedule. Probably for the best.

If the link in the paragraph above doesn’t work, copy and paste the url below to access the ballot:

https://goo.gl/forms/DBOK7Ulw320gTted2

And below are the current Rankings, updated with Nelson and Manrique from the April ballot. Austin, Arturo, and Alyssa are tightly bunched in the lead. I suspect Brett is going in to the spreadsheets to lower my score, but I don’t know enough about law to prove it. Also, apologies to Christi and SooMin, but their April ballots were submitted after Nelson and Manrique were published, so we can’t count their votes on those two cases, even though I’m pretty sure it was a mistake made in good faith. Also, I’m a bit disappointed that That Guy and White Chocolate have only submitted one ballot.

April Rankings